Archive for the ‘Japanese Decor’ Category

3 things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We all experience moments when we feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. Perhaps we’ve just got a new job and we’re worried about learning all our new tasks and impressing our boss, or maybe we just had a baby and find ourselves knee-deep in dirty diapers, we haven’t slept in a week and the laundry has formed a small mountain in the bathroom. Sometimes we simply feel overwhelmed by the seriousness of daily life without being able to pinpoint exactly what is causing the most stress. Taking responsibility and learning to balance the ebb and flow of daily life is the reason we come to our yoga mat each day. Bringing those lessons off the mat is necessary to reap the benefits of our practice in everyday life.

The reality is that whether we’ve been practicing yoga for 20 years or only started last week, each one of us at one time or another will find ourselves paralyzed by that sense of overwhelm. It’s part of the modern human condition, but also a reason to put the lessons learned on the mat into daily life.

To help us all get through these moments, here are 3 things you can do anytime and anywhere when you’re feeling paralyzed by overwhelm:

  1. Take a mindfulness pause

Stop whatever it is you are doing, including obsessive thinking and worrying and come into the present moment. Look around at what’s happening right now wherever you are…the trees moving in the breeze, the traffic passing my, the people chatting at nearby tables or working at office desks. Alternatively, close your eyes and notice how your breath continues to rise and fall like the waves of the ocean. Ever tried to do tree pose while thinking about what to make for dinner? A mindfulness pause is an anchor where you can find stillness within yourself and a place of balance within yourself.

  1. Make a list of the 3 most important tasks

On your smartphone or in your agenda (I’m a post-it kind of girl myself!) list the 3 most important or most urgent tasks. Perhaps these will be the only 3 things you accomplish today out of the thousand you have swimming in your mind but by breaking the overwhelming “to do” list down into a first small group of 3, you lighten the weight and are more like to get them done. No use kicking up into handstand without checking shoulder stability, the core, and drishti so break down the big jobs into little pieces in the same way.

  1. Practice non-judgement and self-forgiveness

These go hand in hand for me. Before, during and after all your tasks, be kind to yourself, release self-judgement and forgive yourself for those judgements you’ve been making about feeling overwhelmed. We can not go back and change the past, but what happens in the present moment creates our future. No action is too small a seed to plant for tomorrow. How many times do we notice judgemental thoughts during asana practice or seated meditation? We train ourselves on the mat to observe, yet continue. A little extra non-judgement and self-forgiveness off the mat today creates a stable foundation from which we can continue getting things done.

Feeling overwhelmed is a sign to step back a moment, before either coming to a complete stop or simply going forward on autopilot. Once we take a moment to realign ourselves and identify our main objectives, we can move forward knowing that we are putting the lessons learned on the mat into practice in our daily lives.

-Roanna Weiss

Three ways to shift your day through breath

Monday, February 9th, 2015

If you are having a tough day, take a pause and notice your breath. Do you feel yourself breathing? Our breathing reverberates in our body and this vibration is directly related to the vibrations in our mind that come as thoughts. As ancient yogic texts have explained, our thoughts affect our breath. Our breath affects our body function. Our body function/health affects our speech. Our speech affects our actions. And our actions affect our destiny. Therefore, if you want to make a change in your life, invite a positive change to your breathing pattern.

Notice the next time that you are feeling angry or stressed about something. Excited thoughts lead to an excited breath, which can lead to quick, reactive decisions; some that we later regret. Sad thoughts lead to a dull, heavy breathing pattern that can make it hard to take any action to help ourselves. Positive, happy thoughts are connected with effortless deep breathing throughout the body. This leads to positive actions and choices that can make our life better. The pattern of breath and thoughts which vibrate within you will ripple out into the functioning of your organs and determine what words are spoken, what actions are taken, and the energy attracted.

On-The-Go Breathing Tools:  

 1. When you need to quickly re-set – Breathe through the nose to allow the breath to slow down. This also helps you get more air into the lungs, and helps you clean more old air out of the lungs. If you pause and take some really deep breaths, moving the air deep into your body, you will immediately start to feel differently.

2. When you are feeling angry or stressed – Pause and fold forward at the hips, letting your torso hang down towards the floor. If you feel tightness in the lower back and hamstrings, bend your knees a bit so that your hips rotate over the legs. Now, lengthen your inhale and let your exhale last as long. See if you can stay here up to one minute.  Then, slowly roll up to standing. And notice how the world looks.32

3. When you are feeling low in energy or emotion – Stand up, feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, take your arms up to the sky. As you exhale, take the arms out and down by your side. Do this about 10 times, and begin to connect the breath with the movement of the arms. See if you can even go slower with the arms and breath. On the last round, keep the arms up in the air for 10 smooth breaths through the nose. And then gradually lower them down.

Suggestions To Start Your Practice:

  • Take a Yoga Class – Yoga is more than just exercise for the body. Many forms of exercise focus on exhaling, pushing and forcing the heart rate to rise. Yoga balances that with time to inhale lots of good, fresh air into the body. The more fresh air we put into our system, the more efficient our body operates. Digestion, assimilation and elimination improve. When our bodies are working well, it’s easier to have positive thoughts and take positive actions.
  • Practice Pranayama – If you are really interested in improving your breathing, consider taking a Pranayama Class at a yoga studio. Pranayama is the technique of expanding one’s life force (the energy behind the breath) through breathing techniques. Many Pranayma classes inlude a few poses to open the body and end in a meditation.

If you don’t like what’s going on in your life, before you decide to take a radical action, start simple. Expand your breathing to bring more positive energy into your system. This will ripple from your mind to your breath and out into your life.

Written by ~ Jeanne Heilman

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH April 24, 2014 — Chopa Zen Home and Gift has been selected for the 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Panama City Beach Award Program

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Best online Retailer Award

Best online Retailer Award

Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for October 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Astrologically speaking October is a very dynamic month of change with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aries on the 18th and a Mercury Retrograde pattern beginning on the 21st.  First let’s tackle the Eclipse. At the time of the Full Moon, the Earth will stand in-between the two luminaries keeping the light of the Sun from reaching and reflecting off of the surface of the Moon, thus creating a Lunar Eclipse. We can’t deny there are physical repercussions as the electromagnetic pulses are temporarily disrupted. Psychologically there are effects as well – mostly positive.

All eclipses are harbingers of change, but Lunar Eclipses, usually indicate we have come to the culmination or ending of a project, relationship or endeavor. Eclipses act like wild cards bringing new people, opportunities or events into our lives that prompt and guide us to make big changes. Many people report eclipses feel like their internal systems have been rebooted. It’s the chance to clean out some old “programming” and make a clean start. Even when an eclipse drops something in our lives that seems “out of the blue” or surprising, when all is said and done, we often realize the change is exactly what we needed.

Mercury, the planet of thinking and communication, will make its third and final retrograde cycle of 2013 starting this month. This one is in the mysterious, sensitive, complex, and psychological sign of Scorpio. Scorpio represents our need for cathartic change and transformation and the need for intense and passionate involvement. Minds and hearts will come together to reveal some amazing insights!

Both events – the Lunar Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde – have change as a common denominator. We don’t always have control of the changes in the world around us, but we do have the ability to choose our interpretation and use events as valuable learning devices on our way to earning our PhDs in Earth School. Enjoy the ride. I’ll be back with you next month to talk about the Eclipse of new beginnings – a New Moon Solar Eclipse on November 3rd. I’ll leave you with the words of Viktor E. Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

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Mt. Fuji – Japanese Legend and Cultural Icon

Monday, September 9th, 2013

mount fuji comforterHave you ever wondered how certain plants, animals and scenery always seem to be shown in Japanese prints, fabrics and artwork? If you pay attention to the popular patterns available, you will notice cherry blossoms, dragons, tigers, koi fish, chrysanthemum and bamboo emblazoning many different Japanese items, primarily kimonos. But one of the most prevalent icons of Japanese culture is the Hokaido print of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. This active stratovolcano hasn’t erupted since 1708 and it is snow-capped for several months of the year. On a clear day, the mountain’s symmetrical cone can be see for 60 from 60 miles away in downtown Tokyo. Mount Fuji is actually a part of the “Three Holy Mountains,” along with Mount Haku and Mount Tate, and in addition to being a major tourist attraction it is frequently seen in art and photographs.

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Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for August 2013

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

It’s time to shine with the Sun and communicating Mercury both in sunny Leo this month. Leo is the sign of self-confidence and self-expression. Under the influence of Leo we get in touch with our need to be our authentic selves and to be appreciated by others. You don’t’ need to be born under the sign of Leo to help yourself to a heaping helping of attention and recognition.

This month we will also be treated to a New Moon in Leo on August 6th reinforcing our desire to get in touch with the innocent but precocious side of ourselves. The energy of this Lunar Cycle conjures up images of a young Shirley Temple – adorable, talented, outspoken and not afraid to be seen. Now you may not sing and tap dance, but you were born with innate and unique talents that when you allow them to shine, they contribute to the light of all consciousness.

The Full Moon in Leo’s opposing sign Aquarius on August 20th balances the potentially aristocratic Leo energy with a healthy dose of appreciation for differences and the unique qualities of individuals. Ruled by the revolutionary planet Uranus, Aquarius is the  sign of originality, humanitarianism, and social reform.

The first few weeks of August are the perfect time to take a good long look at your environment and think about how your home or office does or does not support your sense of self. What does it say about you? Use the Leo energy of self-expression to rearrange, re-design and re-create your environment to reflect your unique personality. After the Full Moon, take your cue from Aquarius and give away or donate those gently used clothes and home furnishings to a good cause.  Your choices and possessions speak to the world about you. Make sure they are representing your most authentic self!

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at 12Listen.com and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at 12House.com. She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on 12Radio.com at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on 12Radio.com every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern. Leo

ca@cabrooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/cabrooks2

Buckwheat Zafus

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Click on any picture to see additional product
information.



Like many retailers selling kapok and buckwheat hull cushions, I had a hard time explaining the differences between these two natural fillings. This has been particularly true for online stores, whose customers are unable to feel the weight and texture of either material. Rather than taking a wild guess or choosing the one that sounds like it will work, I recommend learning about each of them in this series of articles. The first article, Kapok Pillows and Zafu Cushions, will give you the download on kapok and this one will fill you in about buckwheat hull pillows.

Before you read on, remember that the choice of one meditation cushion over another is a matter of personal taste. It usually comes down to the one that gives you the level of support you need to remain in the same position for long periods of time. That being said, I hope these articles will help you make an informed decision.

Part One: Buckwheat Hull

In case you’ve never heard of buckwheat hull, you’re not alone. This popular grain is readily available and not quite as rare as the Asian kapok tree. While it’s not nearly as soft as the downy kapok, people love the way buckwheat hull pillows conform to the contours of the body. Anyone who has been practicing meditation for a long time will recognize the value of this type of lumbar support, but this is by no means a “fluffy pillow.” The buckwheat hull zafu cushion is ergonomic and helps maintain healthy posture while meditating in the cross legged position. Covered with a 100% cotton twill fabric, the buckwheat hull filling makes it conform to the body’s shape more readily than kapok.

What is a buckwheat hull?

Buckwheat hulls are the parts of the plant that cover the seed or kernels. They have been used in ancient cultures, such as China, for hundreds of years but have only become more popular in the West in the past few decades.

Is a buckwheat hull pillow only for meditation?



Because of their ability to conform to the shape of the head and neck, buckwheat pillows often are recommended by medical professionals and doctors of chiropractic medicine. They are known to provide relief to those who suffer from migraines, snoring and neck pain. Because it is so similar to sitting on a mound of beach sand, buckwheat hulls give users a “grounded” feeling during meditation.



In addition to their use in zafu meditation pillows, buckwheat hulls are used for keyboard rests to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, eye pillows, and those cylindrical pillows that support the back while sitting at a desk. They even can be purchased with natural herbs added to the buckwheat hulls for a calming or energizing aromatherapy session.


What makes buckwheat hulls “sustainable?”
The material used for buckwheat hull pillows is actually the outer shell of buckwheat grain. Because it is too hard to be eaten by animals or humans, the hull would normally be discarded. By using it to fill cushions, nothing in the environment is disturbed.


Pros and Cons of Buckwheat Hulls

 

 

 

 

Pros
1. Buckwheat Hull cushions are adjustable. Each of them has a zippered opening which can be used to fill the cushions. This opening allows for the removal or
addition of buckwheat hulls to adjust the height and comfort.
2. Buckwheat hull cushions do not flatten or require fluffing up.
3. Buckwheat hulls are more like a natural sand surface because they conform to the shape of the body and provide a grounded feel.
Cons
1. If you prefer the feeling of a soft fluffy pillow, buckwheat hull cushions might not be the best choice. Some customers find them to be a bit hard, which
can be a firm surface if you don’t have your own “natural cushioning.”
2. Buckwheat Hull cushions weigh about twice as much as kapok cushions.
3. The Buckwheat Hulls make a bit of a scrunching sound when you move around on them.
4. After a while, the hulls can break down, but they can easily be replaced by adding more through the zippered opening.


Buckwheat Hull cushions have become increasingly popular for meditation, accounting for the majority of zafu cushions sold today. People who choose kapok
instead are usually looking for a more traditional pillow that is comfortable to the touch.






It is best if you can test a few cushions locally before making a purchase, but we stand by our return and exchange policy. We want you to have the best cushion
for your needs.
 


Sale pricing expires February 28th, 2013. Enter Feb10 in the coupon box at check-out to receive 10% off. Not valid with other coupons or on previous sales.
 

Table Gongs and Chimes Bering Instant Tranquility

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

table chimes and desk gongsIt may seem a little far-fetched, but the sound of certain gongs and chimes can cause a physiological response in many people.  Just as noted author William Congreve once said, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast;” the same could be said about the sound of a gong.

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Why Choose Bamboo Rugs Over Traditional Carpeting?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

bamboo rugCreating a Zen-inspired living space in your home may require quite a bit of renovation, particularly if you’re room includes traditional carpeting.  It’s not that a room cannot be Zen-like with regular rugs, but it is customary to use more organic materials.  Many Asian homeowners forgo carpeting altogether in favor of hand-woven tatami mats or hardwood floors, but there is another popular floor covering – bamboo rugs.

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Why Choose Traditional Hand-Tufted Rugs Over Bamboo?

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

traditional surya oasis rugThere is much disagreement among home decorators about whether floor coverings should be part of a room’s design.  Many designers subscribe to the belief that patterned rugs are distracting and they draw the eye away from the more dimensional elements of a room’s décor.  Conversely, modern designers tend to enjoy using colors and patterns in carpeting to dictate a room’s overall palette.  Looking at some of the rooms displayed in Architectural Digest or Metropolitan Home, it would seem that both arguments are equally supported by award-winning designs.  Like many other concepts in home décor, the choice of a traditional rug over an organic surface comes down to personal taste.

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